Brazil's Odebrecht Paid $3.3 Billion in Bribes over a Decade

Brasilia, April 21 (RHC)-- Odebrecht, the Brazilian engineering company at the center of a historic corruption scandal, reportedly paid out a total of about $3.3 billion in bribes in nine years through 2014, according to testimony cited by local media. 

Through a department specifically established to pay politicians and other recipients for public works contracts, Odebrecht paid as much as $730 million annually in both 2012 and 2013, the years when bribe payments peaked, according to a spreadsheet that a former executive reportedly gave investigators as part of a plea deal. 

The $3.3 billion figure, and related annual tallies as laid out in the spreadsheet, were reported by the G1 news site of the Globo media group and the Estado de S. Paulo, a leading newspaper. 

A trove of plea deal testimony unsealed last week by a Supreme Court justice is shedding light on the extent and manner in which Odebrecht, once Latin America's most successful engineering firm, routinely paid officials in Brazil and other countries in exchange for winning contracts. 

The testimony was unsealed as the justice, Edson Fachin, authorized investigations of eight government ministers, 12 governors and dozens of federal lawmakers implicated in the scandal, uncovered three years ago because of a kickback investigation at the state-run oil company Petrobras. 

Edited by Pavel Jacomino


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